A different look

Not sure if I like this new look, but it is “mobile optimized” so that Google will find out for all of you who may come to this site on your smartphone or tablet.

Let me know what you think – if it works and is functional then perhaps I will keep it for a while.

The Gilmore Medal and the 17th CVI

After spending a comfortable Sunday afternoon perusing the various auction sites for 17th CVI-related artifacts I came across a couple of letters written by Rufus Tilbe up for auction. Tilbe was a member of Company E, having enlisted at the age 22 from Westport, CT.  He was promoted to the rank of corporal just prior to Chancellorsville, and made it through both Chancellorsville and Gettysburg unscathed.

After the regiment was transferred to the Department of the South following Gettysburg, Tilbe fought in the various skirmishes in and around Charleston, SC. It was there that he received a wound to his right foot that was reported in the August 26, 1863 edition of the New York Times. Something went wrong with that wound, for sure, as he soon enough underwent an amputation of his right leg.

Tilbe would become one of 4 members of the regiment who would be awarded the Gilmore Medal. The Gilmore Medal?

Here’s a description of the medal, created and issued by Major General Quincy Gilmore, from the March 30, 1864 edition of the New York Times:

From the Palmetto Herald.

The Hilton Head and Beaufort papers of March 24, have the following items:


The front of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier of the 6th CVI.

Obverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier of the 6th CVI.

It will be remembered that after the reduction of Fort Wagner and the demolition of Fort Sumter, last Fall, Gen. GILLMORE announced that medals of honor would be presented to such enlisted men as had especially distinguished themselves by gallant conduct during the siege. They have been struck, and samples are already here, though the entire number will scarcely be ready for delivery sooner than two or three weeks. There are about five hundred candidates (500) for the honor, each of whom will have his name neatly engraved on the buckle to which the medal is attached. The medal itself is of bronze, about the size of the silver dollar of blessed memory, and bears

Reverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier with the 6th CVI.

Reverse of a Gilmore Medal awarded to a soldier with the 6th CVI.

upon its obverse in bold relief, a very accurate representation of Fort Sumter at the termination of the first bombardment, taken from an original drawing by Mr. W.T. CRANE, with the legend “Fort Sumter, Aug. 23, 1863,” the whole encircled by a border of stars. Upon the reverse in this inscription, in raised letters: “For gallant and meritorious conduct. Presented by Q.A. GILLMORE, Major-General.” The name of Gen. GILLMORE is a fac simile of his autograph. The medals are beautiful in design, and are very neatly and carefully made. They come from the establishment of BALL, BLACK & Co., New-York City.

Besides Corporal Tilbe, the following soldiers from the 17th CVI were also awarded the Gilmore Medal:

Private Walter Jarmon – Company F

1st Sergeant Charles Smith, Jr. – Company G

Private Richard McGee, Jr. – Company K

As for Corporal Tilbe – he would transfer to the 128th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps in December 1863, until his discharge in July 1864. He died at age 80 in May 1920.

Email address has changed

Thanks to AT&T, the email address for the site has needed to change. The good news is that the new address is easier to type. The bad news is that because I cannot access the old email at all means that all my contacts are gone with it. So – if you have emailed me and have NOT gotten a reply it is not because I am ignoring you. It is because I just can’t get back into the original email account I’ve used for a long, long time.

The new email address (don’t cut and paste it, you’ll need to remove ALL the spaces) is: 17th cvi @ gmail.com

So, unless you’ve left a comment with your email address I don’t have a way to recover my old list. There was something to be said about pre-computer days and a Rolodex!